Griffins stuff: Theme nights to come, ‘candids’ from practice and the weekly press release

Here’s a little free advertising (as it were) for the Grand Rapids Griffins, who are holding their “Take Your Dog to the Game” game on Sunday, February 25th…

The Griffins are also holding their “Purple Game” to benefit the Van Andel Institute on March 2nd…

During practice today…

And here is the Griffins’ weekly press release:


This Week’s Games
GRIFFINS at Manitoba Moose // Thu., Feb. 15 // 8 p.m. EST // Bell MTS Place
GRIFFINS at Manitoba Moose // Sat., Feb. 17 // 8 p.m. EST // Bell MTS Place
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m. both nights
Season Series: 2-0-0-0 Road, 4-2-0-0 Overall. Seventh and eighth of eight meetings overall, third and fourth of four at Bell MTS Place
All-Time Series: 25-16-0-0-2 Road, 54-28-1-1-7 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Winnipeg Jets
Noteworthy: Grand Rapids has won three consecutive games at Bell MTS Place.

Last Week’s Results
Wed., Feb. 7    Manitoba Moose 2 at GRIFFINS 4    25-18-1-5 (56 pts, 4th Central Division)
Fri., Feb. 9    San Antonio Rampage 3 at GRIFFINS 4 OT 26-18-1-5 (58 pts, 4th)
Sat., Feb. 10    Stockton Heat 3 at GRIFFINS 2 SO    26-18-1-6 (59 pts, 4th)

Opening Faceoff: The Grand Rapids Griffins have points in a season-high nine straight games (7-0-0-2) and are 16-3-0-3 in their last 22. Grand Rapids travels north of the border to play the Western Conference-leading Manitoba Moose on Thursday and Saturday this week before returning to West Michigan for a six-game homestand.

Follow the Leaders:
Points: Matt Puempel (19-25—44)
Goals: Eric Tangradi (20)
Assists: Ben Street (32)
PIM: Dylan McIlrath (83)
Plus-Minus: Filip Hronek (+21)
Goaltender Wins: Jared Coreau (18)
Goals Against Average: Coreau (2.62)
Save Percentage: Coreau (0.910)

Last Week’s Notes:
Wednesday vs. Manitoba: Grand Rapids won its third straight game against Manitoba with the victory on Wednesday…Evgeny Svechnikov scored a season-high three points behind a goal and two assists…Defenseman Robbie Russo tallied a goal and an assist for his fifth multi-point game of the season…The Griffins finished 2-for-5 on the man-advantage and have scored a power play goal in seven of the last eight games, including three consecutive…Jared Coreau recorded 25 saves to push his point streak to five games…Patrick McCarron made his Griffins season debut and skated in his first game at Van Andel Arena.
Friday vs. San Antonio: Grand Rapids has won seven consecutive games against San Antonio, including the last four meetings at Van Andel Arena…Matt Lorito tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner 3:16 into overtime, and extended his point streak to seven games…Tom McCollum recorded 35 saves and has won three straight starts…A total of 10 penalties were called in the third period…Andrew Agozzino scored with 4:44 remaining in regulation to force overtime…Captain Matthew Ford banked his 18th goal of the season, one off the team lead…Grand Rapids outshot San Antonio 42-38.
Saturday vs. Stockton: Grand Rapids is 2-6 in shootouts this season…The Griffins had their four-game home winning streak snapped…The crowd of 10,234 was the Griffins’ fourth of more than 10,000 in their last five home games and their seventh in excess of 9,000 in their last 10 at Van Andel Arena…Matt Lorito’s penalty shot attempt at 3:52 of overtime was just the third ever for the Griffins in overtime, including the postseason…Eric Himelfarb misfired on April 23, 2007 in a playoff game against Manitoba, and Doug Janik connected at Rochester on April 10, 2012…Eric Tangradi potted a goal while celebrating his 29th birthday.

Sadowy Reassigned to Griffins: The Detroit Red Wings on Monday reassigned forward Dylan Sadowy to the Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. Sadowy, 21, has tallied 21 points (6-15—21), a plus-two rating and 16 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Western Conference-leading Walleye. He scored the game-winning goal in Toledo’s 1-0 victory against Wichita on Sunday to push his point streak to a season-high four games. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound winger has skated in eight games with the Griffins this season and recorded seven PIM.

Griffins in the Olympics: Eight former Griffins are a part of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics: Dick Axelsson (2009-10), Sweden; Chad Billins (2012-13, 2013 Calder Cup champion), USA; Chris Chelios (2008-09), assistant coach USA; Chris Kelly (2001-02), Canada; Alexey Marchenko (2013-16), Olympic Athletes of Russia; Jan Mursak (2006-07; 08-13, 2013 Calder Cup champion), Slovenia; Jim Paek (assistant coach 2005-14, 2013 Calder Cup champion), head coach Korea; and Brock Radunske (2006-07), Korea.

They Went to Jared: In his last 16 appearances between the pipes, Jared Coreau sports an 11-2-3 record along with a 2.16 GAA and a 0.924 save percentage. He ties for fourth in the AHL with 18 victories on the season.

McCollum the Records Holder: Grand Rapids’ all-time leader in goaltender games played, minutes and saves, Tom McCollum surpassed Joey MacDonald for the most victories in franchise history (110) following the Griffins’ 4-2 win at Cleveland on Feb. 2. McCollum has won five of his last six starts and shows a 2.32 GAA and a 0.927 save percentage in that span.

Special Teams: Grand Rapids is one of four teams to rank in the top 10 for both power play and penalty kill. Grand Rapids’ power play places fourth at 21.0% and has scored a goal in eight of the last 10 games, going 10-for-44 (22.7%) in that span. The penalty kill ranks ninth at 83.9%.

Home Sweet Home: The Griffins have points in 10 of their last 12 home games (8-2-1-1). After this week’s jaunt to Manitoba, Grand Rapids will play six straight inside friendly confines.

On the Road: The Griffins have claimed points in 10 of the last 11 road contests (8-1-0-2), including six in a row.

Tangoal: Ninth-year pro Eric Tangradi has scored 11 points (8-3—11) in the last 10 games and 13 (9-4—13) in the last 12. Since Jan. 1, Tangradi ties for the league lead with 11 goals, while his 17 points in that span tie for seventh. He scored his team-leading 20th goal of the season in Saturday’s shootout loss, marking his second career 20-goal campaign (2015-16).

Puemped Up: Matt Puempel has totaled 14 points (6-8—14) in the last 12 contests and has accumulated 18 points (8-10—18) in the last 13 home games. Acquired by the Red Wings via trade on Oct. 21, Puempel has not gone more than three consecutive games in a Griffins uniform without recording a point. He ties Matthew Ford for second on the team with 19 goals and his 44 points are sixth in the AHL. Since the calendar turned to 2018, he ties for third in the league with 18 points in 16 games.

Filip Hero-nek: Rookie defenseman Filip Hronek potted the game-winning goal in last Wednesday’s victory. Four of Hronek’s seven goals this season have been of the GWG variety, tying for the most in the AHL among blueliners. He notched an assist in Saturday’s loss to extend his point streak to a season-high five games (3-4—7).  The 53rd overall selection by Detroit in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Hronek ranks among the league’s rookie defensemen leaders with 26 points (2nd), seven goals (T3rd), 19 assists (3rd) and a plus-21 rating (2nd).

Cool Ranch Loritos: Matt Lorito has totaled eight points (4-4—8) in the last eight games and has at least a point in 10 of the last 13 games. He had his season-high seven-game point streak snapped in Saturday’s shootout loss.

Hot Street: Including two assists last Saturday, Ben Street has nine points (1-8—9) in the last seven games. His team-high 32 assists are seventh-most in the AHL.

Robbie Russo – one game played to reach 200 as a pro, five points to reach 100 as a pro
Ben Street – five points to reach 100 as a Griffin
Turner Elson – two points to reach 100 as a pro
Matthew Ford – one game played to reach 100 as a Griffin

Championship Effects: Seven players from the 2017 Calder Cup championship team have played in the NHL this season: forwards Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit), Kyle Criscuolo (Buffalo), Martin Frk (Detroit), Tomas Nosek (Vegas) and Dominic Turgeon (Detroit), and defensemen Joe Hicketts (Detroit) and Brian Lashoff (Detroit).

Manitoba Notes: The Griffins have won three straight overall against the Moose…Manitoba leads the Western Conference…Grand Rapids and Manitoba have met 91 times since 1996-97 when both were members of the International Hockey League…Since the Moose rejoined the AHL in 2015-16 following a four-year hiatus, the Griffins are 10-4 against their Central Division counterpart, including a 6-2 mark in games at Van Andel Arena…Grand Rapids has scored on the power play in four of six meetings this season…Turner Elson (2-4—6 in 5 GP), Axel Holmstrom (2-4—6 in 6 GP) and Evgeny Svechnikov (1-5—6 in 4 GP) lead the team in the season series…Grand Rapids swept a two-game set against the Moose in Winnipeg on Jan. 8 and 10 and has won three straight at Bell MTS Place…Rookie defenseman Filip Hronek potted the game-winner 3:21 into overtime on Jan. 8…Holmstrom scored an AHL career-high three points (2-1—3) and earned first star honors on Jan. 10…Holmstrom made his AHL debut last April 4 at Manitoba…Elson, in his first year as a Griffin, scored a career-high four points (1-3—4) in the season opener against Manitoba on Oct. 6.

Open Season: Ninth-year pro Eric Tangradi, who appeared in 91 games with the Winnipeg Jets between 2012-14, has shown impressive production against the Jets’ AHL affiliate. In 12 games against the Moose as a member of the Griffins, Tangradi sports 17 points (8-9—17) and a plus-five rating.

Manitoba Connections: Defenseman Dylan McIlrath hails from Winnipeg…Chase De Leo and Dominic Turgeon were teammates with Portland (WHL) from 2011-15 and helped the Winterhawks win the 2012-13 league championship…Eric Tangradi totaled 10 points (4-6—10) and 43 PIM in 91 games with the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-14…Rookie Mason Appleton played two seasons at Michigan State and scored 53 points (17-36—53) in 72 games.

Up and Down: With a 26-18-1-6 record through 51 games, take a look at how the statistics compare between the Griffins’ 26 wins and 25 (including overtime and shootout) losses.

W (26) 4.65 2.35 29.20% 87.38% 32.62 30.19
L (25) 1.76 3.68 12.12% 80.83% 32.52 30.20

Back-to-Backs: The Griffins will play back-to-back games a total of 24 times this season. Compare the statistics for when Grand Rapids has played on consecutive nights:

W L (incl. OT, SO) GF GA PP% PK% SF SA
First Night 8 8 3.69 3.25 24.59% 83.08% 31.38 30.38
Second Night 6 10 2.56 3.19 17.54% 81.69% 30.88 31.69
Third Night 1 2 2.33 2.67 27.27% 85.71% 38.67 31.33

Walleye Report: Under second-year head coach Dan Watson, the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye have points in nine straight games and lead the Western Conference with a 33-12-2-2 record (70 points). Erik Bradford (11-25—36) and Christian Hilbrich (17-17—34) lead the team in scoring, while Griffins-contracted Mike Borkowski (13-20—33) places third. Griffins-contracted and 2018 ECHL All-Star Pat Nagle leads the league with 22 victories (22-4-3) while placing seventh with a 2.31 GAA and sixth with a 0.921 save percentage. Red Wings-contracted Matej Machovsky paces the ECHL with a 1.91 GAA and ranks second with a 0.933 save percentage while showing an 11-7-1 mark.

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.